Siratro – Macroptilium atropurpureum
Habit: Tangled vine with dark mauve flowers and seed pods with hard black seeds.
Spread: By stolons, seed and stems that take root and grow.
Siratro flowers and seeds opportunistically throughout the year
Siratro was originally introduced into the northern Australia for pasture but is incredibly invasive. It is particulary devestating in areas close to human activity, distirbed sites and wetter areas like monsoon vine thickets, drains and roadsides. The leaves and smothering habit are very distinctive but be careful not to confuse with native creeper Rhynchosia minima which can grow in similar areas. See subpage PAPILIONACEAE under Native plants for description of this species.
Siratros hard black seeds have considerable longevity in the soil. Unfortunatley this means that weed control efforts will have to be sustained over the longer term to be effective. Fire and distirbance can promote rapid germination and assist in flushing the seed bank. To be effective, this needs to be followed up with further control efforts prior to the new plants achieving seed set.